It just means that a recording distributed before that date is not a
representation of a composition or work in the sense that a printed version
is -- a book, music score, etc.
On Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 1:48 AM, Hugh Paterson III <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> I hope there is someone here who might answer (while not being legally
> accountable for their answer - I mean I still hope the answer is correct
> but I don't take it as legal advice)....
> I am looking at three questions:
> (1) are audio materials copyrighted for the same amount of time as printed
> materials? (are the terms and dates for both mediums the same under U.S
> copyright law?)
> (2) I am looking at title 17 USC circular 92 chapter 3 section 303 (b) (
> http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap3.html#303) which says:
> "The distribution before January 1, 1978, of a phonorecord shall not for
> any purpose constitute a publication of any musical work, dramatic work, or
> literary work embodied therein."
> So, If I understand this "plain english"; distribution of a work does not
> mean that it is "published". Are "circulation" and "publishing" two
> categorically separate ideas under copyright law? ... or am I mis-reading
> this text?
> (3) If I have audio from before 1978 and it was never formally published
> (like many field recording from linguists and researchers), my
> understanding is that I could formally publish it now and it would enter
> copyright in 2014 (now). But if I just circulate the audio work now, I
> guess that does not constitute a publication of the work? is that right?
> So, how do I know that digitization and distribution of the content from an
> institutional archive is not "publication" and is just "circulation"?
> - I am sure that I have some assumptions in here which are mis-guided.
> please feel free to set those straight.
> - hugh